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Banned Basque party leader in court

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Banned Basque party leader in court


The leader of the banned Basque separatist party Batasuna faces up to 15 months in jail over charges of praising terrorism. Arnaldo Otegi was back in court just three days after he was released on bail in a separate case. He is accused of praising terrorism at a rally in 2003 in memory of a late member of ETA, labelled a terrorist organisation by the European Union.

Batsuna is ETA’s political ally. He denies the charges, saying he was simply paying hommage to the person in question. ETA announced a permanent ceasefire last month. Otegi is seen as a possible key figure in any peace process that may follow. He served three years in prison, starting in 1989, for his role in an ETA kidnapping. The trial is expected to finish this week but a sentence will probably not be given until the end of the month.
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